Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Recent Rains-Enhanced Peak Fall Foliage Colors and Recent Trump Gangster Regime's Extortion-Related Impeachment Hearings Peak Testimony

Ginormous ash tree at fall foliage peak on the grounds of Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., 2:43 p.m. October 27, 2019

I think this is a white ash tree (Fraxinus Americana) but with an enormous trunk that bifurcates into giant but still sinewy smaller trunk segments before the branches start. Maybe it's an offspring of Yggdrasil …


The bulk of the pictures in this entry were taken from Sunday on my Georgetown walk with Andrea (and are not posted in chronological order). We walked over to Georgetown University campus and then had lunch and a few drinks at The Tombs before having a few more drinks at Tony & Joes outdoor bar by the Potomac River (in a Sunday sunny-and-warm-weather-crowded Washington Harbour). We parted around 5:30 p.m., and I walked back home -- whereupon I went to Fred & Doug's place for dinner.

Fall day, 1800 block New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 1:47 p.m. Oct 27, 2019


Home tonight at this late hour in this tiny apartment, lamp-lit and window a/c humming. I went to the gym earlier tonight after work, and while I got in a full jog, I just couldn't do much weightlifting and only a perfunctory swim. I'm going to try again tomorrow and then take off Wednesday night.

View from the entrance of my apartment building, 2000 block New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C.,
1:41 p.m. Oct 27, 2019


About that walk, the morning started quite gloomy and rainy as a strong weather system pushed across the region, although I slept in (of course) and missed most of that. It cleared up by early afternoon and the remainder of the day was very sunny and borderline-uncomfortably warm owing to a lack of any serious cold air advection behind the front.

Same view as above -- but without the overhang visible


Indeed, it reached 80F at both KDCA and KBWI, not that far below the daily record highs of 83F and 82F, respectively, both set in 1963. KIAD reached 79F -- five degrees below the record daily record of 84F that was also set in 1963. (That was apparently a very dry, warm month in this region.)

3200 block P Street NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 2:31 p.m. October 27, 2019


Rainfall totals from the event were as follows -- along with updated monthly (MTD), seasonal (STD), and yearly (YTD) totals to date (i.e., through the end of Oct 28th) and departures (given in parentheses) from the 1981 - 2010 NWS base period normal values.

"Seasonal" refers to climatological season (beginning Sept 1st) rather than astronomical fall.

Event: 1.48"
MTD: 5.15" +2.09" (3.06")
STD: 5.40" -1.38" (6.78")
YTD: 36.18" +3.00" (33.18")

Note 1: KDCA would be below normal but for the July 7th flood.
Note 2: Last year at this time, KDCA was at 52.89" -- and on its way to a record wet year (66.28").

Event: 1.28"
MTD: 4.89" +1.89: (3.00")
STD: 5.05" -1.98" (7.03")
YTD: 32.14" -2.74" (34.88")

Note 1: At this time last year, KBWI was at 57.14 -- and on its way to a record wet year (71.82").

Event: 1.29"
MTD: 4.25" +1.33" (2.92")
STD: 4.66" -2.18" (6.84")
YTD: 34.50" -0.34" (34.84")

Note 1: At this time last year, KIAD was at 53.30" -- and on its way to a record wet year (66.74").

We seem to have gotten enough rain in the past three weeks to have "saved" a decent fall foliage -- rather than the leaves turning straight brown.

Fall foliage backdropped by a rain-washed blue sky, 3600 block P Street NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C.,
2:36 p.m. October 27, 2019


We're still supposed to have a full-on early-season Arctic outbreak across much of the Lower 48 United States by the weekend, modified in the eastern U.S. somewhat but highs on Saturday and Sunday still only about 55F.

I'm not going to write about the tremendous wildfire conflagrations raging in California in a "cold Santa Ana" event except to note that it's happening -- now focused on Southern California.

Fall day, 3400 block P Street NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 2:35 p.m. October 27, 2019


Well, I was going to write a full entry tonight, although I wasn't quite sure about what. I had been thinking of an entry about three high school teachers I had -- two of whom were shitty and a third of whom was as close to a "mentor" as I ever had, except that ultimately failed -- and all of whom are now passed away. But that would be too much to get into right now.

Another Georgetown street view (can't recall which), Washington, D.C. 2:22 p.m. October 27, 2019


Instead, I'm going to wrap up this entry -- except I would like to post a comment that really caught my attention. It was associated with this strange New York Times op-ed (link embedded): ‘Clueless’ and ‘Saved by the Bell’ Are How We Got Trump.

The piece itself -- by Lindy West -- argues that 1990s pop culture inured young people of that time to view any sort of progressive activism as stupid and pointless. Having lived through that period, I don't disagree with that notion.

However, Ms. West then starts talking about the activism of the current generation of teens and 20-somethings -- but in so doing, she veers into a sort of identity-politics-based cultural Marxism.

Putting that aside, it's the comment by "Mickey in NY" that I would like to repost:

It’s interesting to read through the multiple pieces published daily in The NY Times which go about earnestly trying to figure out how Trump could have happened. It really is a perfect storm: gerrymandering, the electoral college, decades of propaganda Fox TV and conservative radio, plutocracy and money in politics, the dumbing down of civil discourse, decades of romanticizing neoliberalism, decades of war, the growing fear of a non-white and non-English speaking majority, reality TV and the internet, the slow death of the social safety net, conspiracy theory culture, social atomism, a kind of intellectual relativism— “my ignorance is the same as your knowledge”...

Ultimately cook it all up in a pot and we end up with a pathological and dementia-touched carnival barker billionaire playing the role of strongman to eager crowds draped in red, white, and blue. This feels a lot like the late-capitalist, postmodern version of what happens during the last days of any great empire.

This basically sums up how I see things.

A jack-o'-lantern on the steps of 1064 27th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 5:53 p.m. October 27, 2019


Speaking of the New York Times, it has this story tonight of a new major development in the Trump House impeachment effort (link embedded): Army Officer Who Heard Trump's Ukraine Call Reported Concerns.

The person is Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman -- the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council -- is to give his testimony tomorrow before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the House Committee on Oversight and Reform during the closed preliminary deposition period concerning his direct, first-hand knowledge of Trump's July 25th telephone call.

Vindeman pictured above in Kiev (or "Kyiv," as it is now being spelled in some quarters), in May 2019

That call is, of course, the central focus of the impeachment inquiry and the exclamation point of Trump's ongoing, multi-pronged Ukraine extortion attempt -- run through Rudy Giuliani, Trump's "shadow Secretary of State" and gangster regime caporegime (running around with all kinds of Eastern European and Middle Eastern bagmen) -- in order to get dirt on his political rival and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Page 1 of Alexander S. Vindman's opening statement


His opening statement is nothing less than remarkable -- as is Vindman's personal life story, starting out as a young child refugee from the old Soviet Union and including earning a Purple Heart during a combat mission in Iraq. (I'm posting three of the six pages as image files herein.)

Page 2 of Alexander S. Vindman's opening statement


Of course, this will change nothing with Trump's GOP cultists, and the Fox News Agitprop machine, itself part of the larger GOP media/entertainment hate and outrage complex, is still remarkable. Trump himself will spew more of his profanity-laced hate that really ought to get him kicked off Twitter -- but fucking Jack Dorsey will never do that in a billion years.

Page 3 of Alexander S. Vindman's opening statement


To be clear, Vindman is not the whistleblower whose complaint started this whole thing. (Naturally, the shit-flinging monkeys around Devin Nunes are leaking that person's name left, right, and central. But they're Republicans, so therefore, it isn't a problem, much a federal crime like it would be for anyone else.)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D - Awesome Cubed) is preparing for the House to vote on the impeachment resolution on Thursday -- thus ending the bullshit Republican process complaint, except it won't because the goalposts are being moved as fast as Trump can toilet tweet because, to reiterate, the present-day GOP is malevolent quasi-fascist cult -- itself locked in a Trump cult-of-personality.

But I've gone on about that enough lately.

OK, that's all for now. Maybe I'll post another entry tomorrow. If not, then later in the week.


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